My daughter and I are just finishing a 12 day trip to Colombia and I wanted to share a few helpful drivers/guides we found who made our trip so much easier, safer, and convenient (especially& to Cartagena. We used a few taxi drivers (not listed below) that drove recklessly so I really appreciate the safe drivers below. I’m not related to these people, but they are all small business owners and I’d love to do what I can to support them. I am not an easy to please customer & I was blown away by all three of these guys. Also, I speak very little Spanish & we didn’t find many people in Colombia to speak English (totally understandable…..I shouldn’t expect them to speak MY language) so I found it useful that these three guides spoke fluent
English. I learned a lot more about the area by being able to understand them easily.
Diego in Salento: Owns Reserva Guadalajara. Whatsapp: 57-310-404-4733. Diego’s family owns a small reserve where you can stay. It’s a $3 taxi ride from the town of Salento & is on his family’s gorgeous (& massive farm). Diego speaks english & helped arrange rides to/from airports and sights. We had a delicious meal at his reserva & even milked his cows. He offers an optional horseback riding trip (you’ll find this experience & many fabulous reviews on Airbnb experiences, but you can book it directly with Diego via Whatsapp) that was out of this world. We were beginner riders & his horses were so easy to handle. We rode them all through the mountains & Diego surprised us with wine half way through the ride. He taught us about the flora & fauna of the area…can’t recommend highly enough...one of our top highlights of our trip to Colombia. Check out the Acacia coffee tour too….english offered & the tour was so informative & coffee was delicious.
Silvio in Medellin: Silvio is a long time Medellin resident. He owns his own transportation/tour company. He drove my daughter and me through Medellin, to Guatape, and to Rio Claro reserva over the course of three days. We had his nice, pristine van to ourselves. Silvio practiced exceptional Covid precautions. He speaks fluent English and knows anything/anyone around Medellin, but he said he is also willing to drive guests to pretty much any place. He drives guests from Medellin to Salento, etc. (though we flew between these cities). Silvio was always punctual, professional, reliable, and he drove carefully and kept his van in perfect condition. He even kept apologizing about a door rattle that we hardly noticed and later messaged me to let me know that he’s fixed the small rattle. Silvio can take care of you from start to finish in/around Medellin. I found his rates to be very affordable. Also, don’t miss the Comuna 13 & exotic fruit tours in Medellin. Contact via Whatsapp: 57 (301)362-9247 If you google Silvio and “the white beast” (his name for his van!), you’ll see great reviews on Tripadvisor. Loved staying at Hotel 574 in Medellin.
Juan Carlos in Santa Marta/Cartagena/Tayrona/Minca https://bukaptravels.com/ Whatsapp: 57 (300)722-1679, Juan Carlos, owner of Bukap Travels is amazing. He patiently answered my many questions before our trip. He drove us from near Tayrona, to Minca, and then from Minca to Cartagena. At my request, he organized a cocoa tour and a visit to the mud volcano. I mentioned that I wanted to try a well known chocolate bread in Minca and he surprised me by bringing me this bread when he picked me up. Juan Carlos is a college graduate who has lived and studied in Europe and his professionalism and attention to detail is obvious. His car is impeccable, Juan Carlos practiced Covid safe protocols, and he was always on time or early to pick us up. He accommodated any request (stop at ATM or particular restaurant, etc.) and even helped us navigate the process at the mud volcano. Juan Carlos is more than qualified as a driver (and tour guide)...if I could get him into my country, I’d hire him in a heartbeat!! Thank you Juan Carlos! In this area, we loved the mud volcano--thought it would be a tourist trap, but we loved it...the most unique sensation I’ve ever felt. Our hotel La Casa Cartujita was amazing...can’t recommend it highly enough.
Tell them Kristin & her daughter from Atlanta sent you!